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Sporting manager Silas doesn’t know whether Bruno Fernandes has played his last match for the club, but he believes the 25-year-old deserves a move to the Premier League.
The Portugal international is a reported Manchester United transfer target, but it’s said the Red Devils will not sign the player unless Sporting drastically drop their €80 million asking price.
Per Goal, Silas faced the press after Friday’s 2-0 loss to rivals Benfica, and he was asked whether the midfielder will still be in the squad for the upcoming fixture with Sporting Braga:
“I don’t know. For now I think so. I will prepare for the game with Bruno in mind, but from here on out I don’t know what could happen.
“He’s a player who wants to play in a league superior to ours. What player wouldn’t want to play in the English league? It’s hard to tell him: ‘don’t go.’
“Bruno deserves to play in those kind of leagues and the best is that one. If he is one of the best he has to be there.”
The coach went out of his way to answer the question in English:
Fernandes’ possible move to Old Trafford has dominated the January transfer chatter. Per Sport Witness, both the BBC and TVI24 have said Sporting’s valuation may still be well off what United are offering:
BBC Sport’s Simon Stone repeated those reports on Saturday, noting the two clubs are well apart on the fee. Fernandes remains the primary target for the Red Devils, but they have not ruled out moving for alternatives.
The midfielder was strongly linked to the Red Devils in the summer, but he ended up staying in Lisbon. Against all expectations, he even penned a new contract in November, making him the club’s highest earner, per ESPN FC’s Adriana Garcia.
Both the contract’s duration and a reported €100 million release clause remained unchanged. The deal appeared entirely focused on keeping the star midfielder happy in anticipation of a new approach in January.
Fernandes is hugely important to Sporting, netting eight goals and adding seven assists in league play so far this season. He finished the 2018-19 campaign with an incredible 20 goals and 13 assists, which are remarkable numbers for a central midfielder.
Sporting’s reliance on their superstar means they’re not likely to lower their asking price anytime soon.
Despite Fernandes’ solid form, the club has not enjoyed a good season, and they chase Benfica by 19 points in the Primeira Liga standings.